The Northwest of Haiti is one of the most isolated and vulnerable regions of the country, characterized by a severe lack of economic and educational opportunities and extreme environmental degradation. The regions situation is further complicated by the continued socio-economic crisis in Haiti, the deepening isolation of the region, the outward migration due to lack of livelihoods and educational opportunities, and a string of natural disasters which have impacted both the local ecosystem and the resilience of these vulnerable communities.
DESPRI focuses on increasing community power through capacity-building of leaders and entrepreneurs, forming cooperative alliances for production and micro-credit, and creating initiatives promoting ecological and socio-economic sustainability.
World Centric funds two of DESPRI’s programs:
Women and girls are affected disproportionately in the Northwest Artibonite, carrying significant household responsibilities without access to money, education, or other support structures. Traditionally, men have had a stronger socio-economic status in society, leaving women in a particularly vulnerable state without sufficient support to develop self-reliance. Women commonly lack access to decision-making and power roles in society and suffer gender-based inequities and violence.
DESPRI’s empowerment program works with 800 women to build economic resilience and self determination through the formation of Self Help Groups (SHG). SHG members receive access to micro-credit, financial literacy, leadership development, small business management training, and additional capacity building opportunities unique to the needs of each group.
In 2022 this program will:
Work with 40 SHGs and 800 SHG members.
Offer project-based loans of $2,000 to 10 SHG associations. There are 5 active loans at all times and the funding cycle is passed on to 5 new SHG every 6 months.
Continue to work with SGHs to create a federation structure, where SHGs partner together to build regional power and economic sustainability.
World Centric is funding 53% of the total annual budget for this project with a grant of $49,167.
The Northwest of Haiti has critically decimated top soil and land cover due to persistent practices of charcoaling and clear-cutting. The ecological crisis has contributed to drought and a falling water table, leading to reduced water yields in streams, reduced arable land, and accelerated desertification.
DESPRI’s reforestation program uses regenerative agroforestry to establish model sites, manage six community-run nurseries, grow and plant 300,000+ tree seedlings each year, and protect and regenerate a vulnerable coastal mangrove habitat. The program works with farmers and women from the SHG to provide hands-on training seminars on sustainable land and crop management to reduce erosion and improve soil productivity.
In 2022 their program activities include:
Improvements to the 7 tree nurseries infrastructure in order to reach full operational capacities over 2 planting seasons.
Capacity building and training for 700 farmers and women SHG members, including 25 hands-on practical training seminars, follow-up activities, and onsite visits.
Protect 2,500,000 sq ft of coastal mangrove area by building fencing and green buffers, installing signage stating the area is protected, and planting mangrove seedlings around newly built micro-lakes
Grow and plant 300,000 tree seedling with a focus on Moringa and fruit tree species
With a grant of $54,281, World Centric is funding 46% of the total budget for this program.
A World Centric partner since 2015
DESPRI (Développement Entreprenariat Social Production Rural Intègre) seeks to strengthen local capacities of individuals and organizations in Haiti through a participatory approach while fostering Universal values. Their current development initiatives focus on modernization of productive value-chains such as traditional salt production, and on capacity-building of leaders and entrepreneurs, formation of cooperative units of production and micro-credit, and promotion of ecological and socio-economic sustainability. DESPRI utilizes the bottom-up Self-Help Group participatory methodology to establish Entrepreneurship Incubation Centers and women’s savings-and-loans solidarity networks as the base for supporting innovation and transformation in vulnerable and underserved Haitian communities.